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Selling a business may be harder than it looks

Experts say that it's wise for business owners in North Carolina to have an exit plan for selling. According to the UBS Q1 Investor Watch Report, however, 48 percent of business owners lack such a plan. The survey included 1,085 individuals who had owned a business or were the current owners of companies with at least one employee and $250,000 in annual revenue.

Furthermore, 58 percent of those surveyed said that they've never had their businesses appraised. This can be problematic for entrepreneurs who are interested in selling their companies. By having a company appraised, an owner could gain insight into how buyers may perceive the value of their business. An appraisal could also help the owner figure out how to structure a transaction to best meet their needs.

Of those surveyed, 52 percent said that they eventually wanted to sell. Just over 40 percent said that they wanted to sell their companies within the next five years. The most common reasons for wanting to sell included a desire for greater work/life balance or a desire to retire. As for a business owner's heirs, only 18 percent wanted to have the business passed to them. The other 82 percent said that they would rather receive the money from a sale instead.

In many cases, business transactions are more complex than owners anticipate. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consult with an attorney prior to beginning the transaction process. An attorney could recommend an appraiser or other professionals who will assist in the process. Legal counsel might also help draft a sale agreement or review any purchase offers before the deal becomes official.

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Selling a business may be harder than it looks | Britton Law, P.A.